"freezing" of NaClO3 Metastable Crystalline State by Optical Trapping in Unsaturated Microdroplet

Hiromasa Niinomi, Teruki Sugiyama, Katsuhiko Miyamoto, Takashige Omatsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


We reversibly controlled phase conversion between a microdroplet of a NaClO3 unsaturated aqueous solution and a metastable single crystal, which is usually a short-lived phase in spontaneous crystallization, simply by irradiating a tightly focused visible continuous-wave (CW) laser to the microdroplet. The laser irradiation allowed the metastable crystal to generate and stably grow without a polymorphic transformation. This successful metastable phase control is attributed to the combination of the advantage of optical trapping-induced nucleation that nucleation takes place from unsaturated mother solution and the advantage of microdroplet method, which suppresses additional nucleation leading to the transformation. In situ observation shows the crystal dissolves when the laser irradiation is stopped, whereas the laser irradiation stabilizes the crystal even if the size of the crystal becomes larger than that of focal spot. These observations indicate that a change in the relative magnitudes of chemical potentials between solution/crystalline phases. This change is possibly promoted via crystal growth by trapping of crystalline clusters in optical potential well formed on a crystal surfaces originating from "light propagation" through the crystal. Our results shed a light not only on polymorph control but also on a method to prepare a longer-lived achiral precursor for analysis on achiral-chiral transition by "freezing" a kinetic pathway of chiral crystallization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)734-741
Number of pages8
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 7
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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